Ambriz outduels Hynick in opener

Combines with Cory on four-hitter in Oaks' 4-0 blanking

(David Nelson/

September 5, 2007 11:55 PM ET

Hector Ambriz and Forrest Cory combined on a four-hitter Wednesday as the Visalia Oaks blanked the Modesto Nuts, 4-0, on Wednesday in Game 1 of their California League first-round series.

Ambriz (1-0) scattered four singles over eight dominant innings, striking out six without issuing a walk. It was a sharp contrast to his last start of the regular season, when he surrendered 11 runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings against Lake Elsinore on Aug. 28.

Cory issued a pair of walks in the ninth, but retired Nelson Robledo on a liner to left field to close out Game 1.

Gerardo Parra scored on a throwing error by second baseman Eric Young Jr. in the fourth to put Visalia on top. John Hester came home on a fielder's choice and Derek Bruce doubled in a run in the fifth. Hester and Cyle Hankerd each went 2-for-4 and Frank Curreri blasted a solo homer in the ninth.

Modesto starter Brandon Hynick, the California League Pitcher of the Year, gave up three unearned runs on five hits and a walk while fanning seven over eight frames. He led the circuit in wins (16), ERA (2.52) and complete games (three) during the season while ranking third with 136 strikeouts.

Young, Robledo, Neil Wilson and Lino Garcia collected singles for the Nuts, who did not advance a runner beyond second base.

The best-of-3 series continues on Thursday at Visalia.

Tim Leonard is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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